Kate Schapira

Dear Letter Dear World

12/23

Stayed
with 2 climatologists and they walked me through
multiple scenarios. All very stark. I won't
describe for you. I don't want to read anymore, even you.
I don't want any more words that know it
or words that don't know it, I want to close
the book, I don't want to be on the list,
I don't want to do what I would have done if
you weren't changing and I don't want to do
what I could do as you change. This is my last–
ditch effort to do nothing. I skipped a couple
of letters, that's on me like a plastered leaf,
that's on me like a sweaty layer. Dear letter,
if you're the last, what will become of me?
And what of you? I ask this instead
of asking, "What will you become?" because
I don't feel guilty about not wanting
to manage the night or read animal fables
that read like a done deal, a closed book.

12/25

Stayed
with 2 climatologists and they walked me through
multiple scenarios. All very stark. I won't
describe for you the sense of dull occasion
that soaks the degrees of this day, fifty–
eight of them at least, hot salty sap
running out of my eyes and lying where
it lies. That's wrong. Along with every
wet organism and every field guide turning
asleep or awake, lying long and
uneasily like I did, not moving enough to
start, not still enough to stop, thinking these
are the last old days, this is the year,
without a habit or an obligation every
seed in every letter of you is apprenticed to
the cold and without the cold, what other
tongue will you give? What teachers will you have?
How will they manage, how will we, how
will we spin to and love in the damage,
note after note and night after night?

12/26

Stayed
with 2 climatologists and they walked me through
multiple scenarios. All very stark. I won't
describe for you; let this day, letter, be the
day of the old order when I throw orange peels
and salt over my shoulder to tell me
something about the future. Let me be old
today and write to you stricken with horror,
cloven with gaps, gathered together
hastily, helplessly. Make me your long-
range plan tomorrow. Today I'm an
envelope you open, then another, lower
and lower toward a hissing secret only you know.
Which means I know it, sort of, somewhere. No.
I can only know it here. World
of field organizers and guides and
horrors, I stagger toward you. Today I'll walk
backwards and forwards, cooking and storing,
stirring the bean pot and not wanting
to feel guilty about managing the night,
the survivor guilt, the present night